Official: Plutonium detected in black substance from Minamisoma (PHOTOS)

Published: April 27th, 2012 at 12:59 am ET
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UPDATED HERE: Source: Over 500 microSv/h detected from black substance (PHOTO)

Comments by Koichi Oyama translated by Fukushima Diary:

  • Sample was taken after decontamination.
  • The sample contains soil, sand, and water other than black substance. (Water ratio is not announced.)
  • Sample to consist of only black substance and water (Moisture content = 71.4%) contains 309,000 Bq/Kg of cesium and it’s 1,080,000 Bq/Kg when it’s dry. It therefore will be more than 3 times higher if it doesn’t content sand, soil or water.
  • Pu238/Pu239+240 used to be 0.027 before 311. This result shows it’s 0.808.
  • The analysis was done by Japan Chemical Analysis Center, which is outsourced by the government.

More from Mochizuki:

  • 0.038 Bq/Kg (2.47Bq/m2) of Plutonium 238 was measured in Minamisoma.
  • They also measured 0.047 Bq/Kg ofPlutonium 239 and 240, and 0.73 Bq/Kg of Plutonium 241.
  • 8.5 Bq/Kg of Strontium 89, and 50 Bq/Kg of Strontium 90 was also measured.

Published: April 27th, 2012 at 12:59 am ET
By
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30 comments

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30 comments to Official: Plutonium detected in black substance from Minamisoma (PHOTOS)

  • Plutonium-239, which has a decay rate (half-life) of 24,100 years. It will remain HAZARDOUS to life for 'approximately' 240,000 years!

    From wiki:
    The most common chemical process, PUREX (Plutonium–URanium EXtraction) reprocesses spent nuclear fuel to extract plutonium and uranium which can be used to form a mixed oxide "MOX fuel" for reuse in nuclear reactors.

    Weapons grade plutonium can be added to the fuel mix. MOX fuel is used in light water reactors. Breeder reactors are specifically designed to create more fissionable material than they consume.

    MOX fuel has been in use since the 1980s and is widely used in Europe. In September 2000, the United States and the Russian Federation signed a Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement by which each agreed to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium.

    The U.S. Department of Energy plans to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium in the United States before the end of 2019 by converting the plutonium to a MOX fuel to be used in commercial nuclear power reactors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium

    Not to mention all the other plutonium(s) and strontium(s).

    It will NOT stop for a VERY long time.


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    • VanneV anne

      I read somewhere that the MOX fuel used in Japan and the US is different than that in France since the 1980s. And that it is much more dangerous and deadly than that used by Areva in France.


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      • VanneV anne

        Areva supplied MOX fuel to Japanese reactor, also on DOE payroll

        “AREVA may have been using the MOX technology for decades, but it is the first time it will deal with military weapons-grade plutonium. The MOX fuel in France is made from plutonium from civilian reactors which is far less powerful than the military-grade plutonium being used in the U.S. But, according to the company, “it is exactly the same process; it is based on the AREVA technology in La Hague.” Pernot says, “…Of course, we have to adjust a little bit our technology but the principles are the same.”

        “’Adjustments’ are exactly what was needed when the DOE asked AREVA in 2006 to manufacture four test assemblies with a certain amount of the American military plutonium shipped by boat to France. The tests were conducted in Cadarache, in Southeast France. Duke Energy in the United States, which had signed a contract with the DOE, started to burn these fuel assemblies in its Catawba, North Carolina reactors. The fuel was supposed to be tested during three cycles of 18 months each. But after two cycles, the experts found out that the shape of the fuel was changing. They immediately stopped the process and concluded that the MOX fuel had a shorter lifetime than expected and would need improvements.


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      • HoTaters

        The U.S. has been shipping its used fuel to France, where it is reprocessed and sent by AREVA to Japan.

        The Savannah plant has stopped its reprocessing.

        That's my understanding of it, anyway.


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  • additionally due to the long halfflife the mass of pu that emitts 1 Bq is much larger than the mass of say cesium that emitts 1 Bq.
    so i would like to know how much gramms are in the samples.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    So, if the US needs to comply with the agreement it has with Russia, it needs to keep its reactors. Now i understand why Obama has been so insistent on maintaining nuclear power in the "energy mix" all this time. Not for energy. That's a by-product. But, to make it appear that we are reducing the stores of plutonium, by making it into something else just as deadly. I suppose that "technically" it is true that it is no longer the plutonium it once was, kinda, if you stand on your head, close one eye, hold your breath and whistle. The madness only deepens.


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    • Exactly right! I wondered if anybody would pick up on that.

      "The U.S. Department of Energy plans to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium in the United States before the end of 2019 by converting the plutonium to a MOX fuel to be used in commercial nuclear power reactors."

      So really, they are NOT disposing of anything, they are CONVERTING it for commercial use. (word manipulation) Now you know.


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  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    So the Pu ratio is 29.9 to 1 from now to before 3/11/11
    And the distance is about 15 miles

    Extrapolating our limited data from day one to now sure does make ELE a plausible concept.

    What is also disturbing is how much information all of us here are missing that they have not released (yet?).

    How right you are Vic, the madness only deepens.

    Hardly a day goes by where this story doesn't get worse.


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  • getoutwhileyoustillcan

    So where did the pre-311 plutonium come from?


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    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      45+ years of nuclear weapons testing. Covered the whole world with Plutonium. Wow! Well done! Lets see if we can double that with Fuku.


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      • During the decay of plutonium, three types of radiation are released—alpha, beta, AND gamma.

        Isotopes and compounds of plutonium are radioactive and accumulate in bone marrow.

        The skeleton, where plutonium is absorbed, and the liver, where it collects and becomes concentrated, are at risk.

        Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for DECADES and CONTINUES to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation and thus may cause cancer.

        Plutonium passes slowly through cell membranes and intestinal boundaries, so absorption by ingestion and incorporation into bone structure proceeds very slowly.

        Did you know…
        "Eighteen human test subjects were injected with plutonium without informed consent. (circa 1945) The tests were used to create diagnostic tools to determine the uptake of plutonium in the body in order to develop safety standards for working with plutonium."


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    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      The United States conducted around 1,054 nuclear tests.
      The Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests.
      The UK has conducted 45 tests.
      France conducted 210 nuclear tests.
      The People's Republic of China conducted 45 tests.
      India conducted between 5 and 6 tests.
      Pakistan conducted between 3 and 6 tests.

      A great many were above ground detonations. Where indeed…..


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  • RutherfordsGhost

    I will leave it as an academic exercise for those here to work out what fraction this is – if inhaled or absorbed, is a fatal dose.

    Good old Pu – it keeps giving.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-241


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    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      one millionth of a gram – unless its been changed recently due to increased levels.


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      • Hogweed

        If you go back to the original Beagle research, One millionth of a gramme was the minimum amount (estimated from the dogs) for a human that *could* potentially cause a fatal cancer. They calculated the amount needed to almost certainly kill a human as about 27 microgrammes (27 millionthys of a gramme).

        So 1 millionth of a gramme inhaled might kill you but probably wont. Start getting much more than that though and your chances start going downhill rapidly.


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      • HoTaters

        That's what the things I've read says, too. 'Doesn't take much.


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        • HoTaters

          Just posted a link to common radiation exposures at Forum area, "Methods for Combatting Radiation and Its Effects." According to the site I found, something in the range of 270 – 300 millirems is considered "normal background radiation" exposure. Hmmn … I wonder what it was before all the bomb tests and nuclear accidents?

          (This has to be converted to uSv or mSv exposures.)


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    • SnorkY2K

      Another term used for the viability of a toxic or dangerous vector is the LD50 or amount needed for a lethal dose for 50% of the population. This allows for a comparison number that includes test subjects with more or less resistance than average.


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  • RutherfordsGhost

    Then you can work out how much Pu has fallen in activity across the USA in the rain.


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  • VanneV anne

    If MOX is too hot for terrorists to handle, it is too hot for anyone else to handle once the reactor has melted:

    MOX fuel rods used in Japanese Nuclear Reactor present multiple dangers
    “The damaged number three reactor was undergoing its first fuel cycle using MOX at Daiichi. MOX fuel was first used in a thermal reactor in 1963, but it did not come into commercial use until the 1980s. One reason proponents of MOX reactor fuel support its use is because, once the fuel is burned in a reactor, it is so hot that terrorists would not be able to steal a fuel assembly.
    ’The plutonium that has been used for MOX by the French is a very, very small fraction, and they have discovered that they can only use it once because this spent fuel is so hot and the cost of disposing of this spent fuel goes dramatically up compared to the other stuff. ..The French may be recycling 12 percent. The rest is sailing into burials as de facto radioactive waste. So there are dreams and there are realities. The reality is that this costs a lot of money. It is not working…,’ Alvarez says.http://www.dcbureau.org/20110315782/natural-resources-news-service/mox-fuel-rods-used-in-japanese-nuclear-reactor-present-multiple-dangers.html


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  • VanneV anne

    Japan’s use of Mixed Oxide reactor fuel (MOx – Plutonium plus Uranium fuel rods )…
    Posted on March 22, 2011
    “…The safety of the shipment has been seriously jeopardised by cost-cutting and secrecy. Problems include inadequate design, testing and construction of the transport containers, insufficient emergency planning and inadequate liability coverage. The MOX will be used to fuel Japanese reactors which were not designed to handle this fuel, thus decreasing safety margins….”
    http://www.projectworldawareness.com/2011/03/17982/


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  • VanneV anne

    The next to the last page show photo of “Dense-pack racks in Fukushima-Daiichi Pool #3 (2002)”
    http://www.us-jpri.org/en/reports/seminar/hippel_20120309.pdf


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    • many moons

      Thanks Anne for bring a clearer picture of what was going on before the earth quake. A lot of the same BS.


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    • What-About-The-Kids

      Thanks as always, Anne for the excellent information.

      And when you read Robert Alvarez' damning report on the horrifically overcrowded state of the U.S. spent fuel pools, which have MUCH greater amounts of spent fuel assemblies in them than the Fuku spent fuel pools, it sends shivers down your spine.

      As Mr. Alvarez points out, U.S. spent fuel pools are nearly filled to capacity (and are already extended beyond their originally-intended capacity), and are projected to be COMPLETELY FULL by 2015….with NO current plan in place on how to fix this problem, where to permanently store them, etc.

      And if you read the DOE impact study of the proposed use of Hanford in WA state as the nation's dumping ground for our spent fuel, you'll see their proposal to truck it in from around the nation, in dry casks which will not be secured enough to prevent some radiation leaking out while in transport, will in their estimation cause 800 additional cases of adult cancers (per year?) as people living in cities where they want to drive these trucks through like Spokane and Portland will be exposed.

      Of course, they fail to mention how many additional children's cancers they would cause, however, in that report. Convenient for them, but not for the children and families who would be affected by this atrocity.


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